As with pretty much every other industry, the logistics sector has also been dramatically affected by new technologies over the last decade and beyond.
Tech gear and software can help you run and grow your logistics business in a wide variety of ways and makes it easier to cut costs and build a more profitable venture. Here’s how you should be using tech today to get the results you’ve been yearning for in your organization.
Better Parcel Tracking
For starters, one of the most helpful uses of technology is parcel tracking. While years ago customers had to book a shipment and then sit and wait for a delivery at some stage, based on only a loose ETA, today software programs and tech gear allow logistics firms to keep their clients updated along the way. All-day, everyday tracking is now pretty much the norm and is certainly expected by consumers.
Logistics companies can use vehicle tracking solutions to carefully monitor where both vehicles and the parcels onboard them are at any time. Freight vehicles have GPS and other systems attached for tracking, so real-time updates can be relayed back to the office, and provided to customers, too (this can even be done automatically, thanks to technology).
This tracking functionality helps clients as they don’t have to keep getting in touch with shipping providers for updates. However, logistics firms also benefit and in multiple ways. Utilize tech gear for tracking, and your customer support team won’t have to spend so much time answering basic delivery questions.
Plus, if delays do occur in transit, everyone can be notified at once, both those within the business and externally. Today, more information is available, and better communication ensues between drivers, vehicles, head offices, warehouses, suppliers, customers, and more.
Planning Routes More Efficiently
A related reason to use technology is that it makes it much easier for logistics managers, drivers, and other team members to plan out the most efficient routes. By checking out the data obtained from GPS equipment and other tech, businesses can learn which routes typically end up being the quickest on different days of the week or times of the year.
Routing can be arranged based on not just the shortest length between destinations but also the fastest, based on likely traffic levels. Plus, if drivers do get stuck en route or slowed down because of car accidents, debris on the road, heavy traffic or the like, head office workers can advise them on a better route to take, and send the updated plan straight through to their smartphone, GPS, or another device.
Of course, drivers now no longer need to worry about learning exactly where to go or getting lost on their way. Thanks to GPS gear and other programs, they have tools available to guide them to their destination. In turn, there’s less wastage of time, fuel, and mileage. This means logistics companies enjoy time and cost savings, and have happier drivers, too.
Tech items also come in handy with regards to delivering packages safely and securely. For example, logistics businesses should be using the right kind of packaging to transport potentially dangerous goods. There are helpful shock indicator signs and displays that can be placed on hazardous packages to not only alert drivers to handle them with care, but also to indicate if any of the substances within have been damaged, come loose, or otherwise become riskier during transit.
Monitoring the Behavior of Your Drivers
Driver behavior is something else logistics firms can keep an eye on with technology. By using relevant software, managers can keep track of the hours each driver works, and ensure they don’t go over their legal limit and end up driving when they’re too tired. Plus, tech programs can also give businesses insights into how fast drivers are going, if they waste fuel through too much stopping and starting, if they drive dangerously (e.g., breaking road rules), and if they have any unauthorized stops.
When you’re running a logistics business, one of your highest annual costs is your vehicles. As such, if there’s anything you can do to reduce your expenses in this area, you need to try it.
Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue here, too. Use predictive maintenance tools to help you analyze vehicles remotely and know when they need servicing. Doing this not only lengthens their “shelf life,” but also reduces the risk of them breaking down when in transit and delays and downtime occurring as a result.
Running a logistics business takes plenty of energy, commitment, strategizing, time, and money. However, as you can see from the ideas mentioned above, by incorporating technology into your organization more, you should find it simpler to build the company of your dreams.